The foundation of the Bible rests upon two covenants. The Hebrew word “testament” (diatheke) is better translated “covenant” or “contract.” The Old Testament is God’s covenant with Israel with Moses as mediator, but the New Testament is God’s covenant with Christians with Jesus as Mediator. Although we are now under a better covenant, the Old Testament is also Scripture (Heb. 8:6-13). As part of God’s Word, it is “profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16-17).

The 39 books of the Old Testament are:

1. Five books of the law (Genesis to Deuteronomy) 
2. Twelve books of history (Joshua to Esther) 
3. Five books of poetry (Job to Song of Solomon)
4. Seventeen books of prophecy (Isaiah to Malachi)

The Old Testament was the only “Bible” Jesus used. He quoted only from these 39 books. Jesus often appealed to the Scriptures as the basis for His teachings. The use of the term “Scriptures” in the New Testament refer to the same Old Testament we have today (Jn. 5:39).  Because the Scriptures had been twisted and perverted by pharisaical teachings, Jesus interpreted them from God’s perspective and proved He was their fulfillment (Lk. 4:21). He based His right to refer to Himself as the Son of God on Old Testament scriptures (Jn. 10:31-36). Only when we study Christ’s activity in the book of Revelation can we begin to understand that Jesus has always been the central focus of all human events. The precious Holy Spirit speaks extensively throughout both testaments, giving God’s Word comprehensive and absolute authority.

Questions

To help comprehend the flow of Old Testament chronology, work from numerous Biblical resources and give approximate (circa) dates for each of the following events:

1. The birth of Noah
2. The birth of Abraham
3. The writing of the book of Job
4. The Exodus
5. The conquest of Canaan by Joshua
6. The book of Ruth
7. The reign of David
8. The reign of Solomon
9. The book of Joel
10. The book of Isaiah
11. The fall of Samaria to Assyria
12. The reign of Josiah
13. The book of Jeremiah
14. The book of Zephaniah
15. The book of Nahum
16. The fall of Jerusalem to Babylon
17. The return of the Jews from Babylon
18. The completion of the Temple
19. The book of Esther
20. The book of Malachi

 


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